Sicknesses caused by not eating well.

E-GUIDER | April 14, 2017 | Health care

Sicknesses Caused By Not Eating Well.

Good food is needed for a  person to grow well, work hard, and stay healthy. Many common sicknesses come from not eating enough of foods the body needs.

   A person who is weak or sick because he does not eat the right foods, or does not eat enough, is said to be poorly nourished—or malnourished. He suffers from malnutrition.

Poor nutrition is the most common cause of the following health problems:

                   In children

• Failure of a child to grow or gain weight normally
• Slowness in walking, talking, or thinking
• Big bellies, thin arms and legs
• Common illnesses and infections that last longer, are more severe, and more often cause death
• Lack of energy, child is said and does not play
• Swelling of feet, face, and hands, often with sores or marks on the skin
• Thinning, straightening, or loss of hair, or loss of its color and shine

• Poor vision at night, dryness of eyes, blindness


  In anyone

  •  Weakness and tiredness
  •  Loss of appetite
  •  Anemia
  •  Sores in the corners of the mouth
  •  Painful or sore tongue
  •  ‘burning’ or numbness of the feet

  Although the following problems may have other causes, they are sometimes caused and are often made worse by not eating well:

  •  Diarrhea
  •  Frequent infections
  •  Ringing or buzzing in the ears
  •  Headache
  •  Bleeding or redness of the gums
  •  Skin bruises easily
  •  Nosebleeds
  •  Stomach discomfort
  •  Dryness and cracking of the skin
  •  Heavy pulsing of the heart or of the ‘pit’ of the  stomach (palpitations)
  •  Anxiety (nervous worry) and various nerve or mental problems
  •  Cirrhosis (liver disease)

Poor nutrition during pregnancy causes weakness and anemia in the mother and increases the risk of her dying during or after childbirth. It is also a cause of miscarriage, or of the baby being born dead, too small, or defective.

 Eating right helps the body resist sickness.

Not eating well may be the direct cause of the health problems just listed.

 But in addition, poor nutrition weakens the body’s ability to resist all kinds of diseases, especially infections:

  •  Poorly nourished children are much more likely to get severe diarrhea, and to die from it, than are children who are well nourished.
  • Measles is especially dangerous in children who are malnourished.
  •  Tuberculosis is more common, and gets worse more rapidly, in those who are malnourished.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver, which comes in part from drinking too much alcohol, is more common and worse in persons who are poorly nourished.
  • Even minor problems like the common cold are often worse and last longer in persons who are poorly nourished.

Eating right helps the sick get well.

  Not only does good food help prevent disease, it also helps the sick body fight disease and become well again. So when a person is sick, nutritious food is especially important.

   Unfortunately, some mothers stop giving a child nutritious foods when he is sick or has diarrhea—so the child becomes weaker, cannot fight off the illness, and may die. Sick children need nutritious food! If a sick child will not eat, encourage him to do so.

   Feed him as much as he will eat and drink. And be patient. A sick child often does not want to eat much. So feed him something many times during the day. Also, try to make sure that he drinks a lot of liquid so that he pees (passes urine) several times a day.  If the child will not take solid foods, mash them and give them as a mush or gruel.


   Often the signs of poor nutrition first appear when a person has some other sickness. For example, a child who has had diarrhea for several days may develop swollen hands and feet, a swollen face, dark spots, or peeling sores on his legs. These are signs of severe malnutrition. The child needs more good food! And more often. Feed him many times during the day.

Why It Is Important To Eat Right.

  People who do not eat right develop malnutrition. This can happen from not eating enough food of any kind (general malnutrition or ‘undernutrition’), from not eating the right kinds of foods (specific types of malnutrition), or form eating too much of certain foods (getting too fat).


  Anyone can develop general malnutrition, but it is especially dangerous for:

  • Children, because they need lots of food to grow well and stay healthy.
  • Women of child-bearing age, especially if they are pregnant or breast feeding, because they need extra food to stay healthy, to have healthy babies, and to do their daily work.
  •  Elderly persons because often they lose their teeth and their taste for food, so they cannot eat much at one time, even though they still need to eat  well to stay healthy.

   A malnourished child does not grow well. She generally is thinner and shorter than other children. Also, she is more likely to be irritable, to cry a lot, to move and play less than other children, and to get sick more often. If the child also gets diarrhea or other infections, she will lose weight. A good way to check if a child is poorly nourished is to measure the distance around her upper arm.

  Checking children for malnutrition: 

The sign of the upper arm: After 1 year of age, any child whose middle upper arm measures less that 13℅cm, around is malnourished—no matter how ‘fat’ his feet, hands, and face may look. If the arm measures less that 12℅cm., he is severely malnourished.

   Another good way to tell if a child is well nourished or poorly is to weigh him regularly: once a month in the first year, then once every 3 months. A healthy, well-nourished child gains weight regularly. The weighing of children and the use of Child Health Chart are to be taken serious.   

   To stay healthy, our bodies need plenty food. The food we eat had to fill many needs. First, it should provide enough energy to keep us active and strong. Also, it must help build, repair, and proctent the different parts of our bodies. To do all this we need to eat a combination of foods every day.

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